Why Creativity in the Workplace is Important for GenZ
By Andrew Grant and Dr Gaia Grant
Thursday, 16th March 2023

The creative vibe: I overheard a GenZ conversation on choosing a restaurant to go to recently, and I noticed something quite different and rather than starting with the type of food, the price, or the location - which for me would be primary criteria to consider - the primary factor being discussed was 'what vibe we are going for'.

The other term I have heard often used by this generation in a similar context is the 'aesthetic' value of something, which is defined as 'a concern for beauty or the appreciation of beauty'.

With all this talk about creative concepts, is GenZ empowered to be truly creative in the workplace?

Is GenZ really empowered to be creative?

GenZ, also known as the iGen or post-millennials, refers to individuals born between 1997 and 2012. By 2025, the group will make up a quarter of the Asia–Pacific (APAC) region’s population—the same as millennials (born 1980–1995).

Creativity is often identified as a core value for this cohort. Thanks to their hyper-connectivity and comfort in expressing themselves through digital tools, GenZ is often also described as an agile generation.

As they enter the workforce, this generation is also going to need to be able to successfully navigate and secure their future in the workplace in practical terms. This will require attaining more specific CQ (creative intelligence) capabilities needed to maintain a competitive business advantage.

So how is that company after company and managers from all different generations talk about the importance of creativity, and yet so many lag behind when it comes to supporting real creative development?

4 things that set GenZ apart

GenZ certainly seem to have the foundation for creative capabilities development when you consider 4 identifying features:

Emphasis on digital platforms: With GenZ being digital natives, they are more likely to embrace digital platforms and incorporate them into their creative thinking and design thinking processes. They are more likely to leverage social media, mobile apps, and other digital tools to create, share, and collaborate on their ideas.

Collaborative approach: GenZ is known for their collaborative approach to problem-solving. They are more likely to work in teams and seek input from others to generate innovative ideas. This approach to creative thinking and design thinking will foster more diverse and inclusive solutions.

Visual communication: GenZ is a visual generation, and they prefer communicating their ideas through visual mediums such as infographics, videos, and images. This preference will lead to a shift in the way creative thinking and design thinking are executed, with more emphasis on visual communication.

Entrepreneurial mindset: GenZ has a strong entrepreneurial mindset, which will impact creative thinking and design thinking. They are more likely to approach problems with a solution-oriented mindset, and this will lead to more innovative and pragmatic solutions.

In summary, GenZ should have solid foundations for creative thinking. GenZ's unique characteristics, such as their tech-savvy, collaborative approach, visual communication, and entrepreneurial mindset, will undoubtedly impact their creative development. As they continue to enter the workforce and contribute to various industries, their influence will be increasingly evident.

Perhaps the best way we can help this generation reach their potential is by identifying and demonstrating how to harness that creative flair, and by providing the systems, tools and processes that will support more strategic development.

It may be time to think about how you can best support the next generation in their creative development.

'What if the next big disruptor isn’t a what but a who? Yes, we are talking about GenZ. They are starting to enter the workforce, shaping tastes and disrupting whole industries. A generation that is really coming of age that has seen so much of the change the world has experienced in their brief lifetimes. GenZ is the future of the global economy and that future is already at your doorstep. Welcome to “Working with GenZ”. - Nikhil Raval, Podcaster & Author of 'Target GenZ: Your Guide to Understanding The GenZ's Mindset On Brands, Work-Life, & Learning'

Gaia Grant and Andrew Grant are the authors of The Innovation Race: How to change a culture to change the game (Wiley August 2016) along with a number of other international bestselling books and resources. As the Directors of Tirian International Consultancy they help to create innovation cultures for a range of international organisations (from Fortune 500 companies through to NFPs). The Grants are top-ranking keynote speakers, and Gaia is an HD researcher and lecturer at Sydney University Business School.

For more information see www.the-innovation-race.com.

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